Professor Sir Peter Gluckman KNZM, MBChB, MMedSc, DSc, FRACP, FRCPCH, FRSNZ, FMedSci, FRS, is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished scientists. He was honoured by the Queen in 1997 with the Award of Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008 for services to medicine. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 2001, a foreign member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) in 2006. He received New Zealand’s highest science award, the Rutherford Medal, in 2001. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the 2008 Nuffield medal from the Royal Society of Medicine (UK).

Peter’s research encompasses paediatric endocrinology, the developmental origins of health and disease, the evolutionary-developmental biology interface, and evolutionary medicine. He has published over 500 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters, and is an inventor on over 25 families of patents. He is editor of eight books, and has co-authored three textbooks, including the first on evolutionary medicine. He is a national and international advocate for science, and promotes the translation of discoveries in biomedical research into improvements in long term health outcomes. His work with organisations such as the World Health Organization has brought growing recognition of the importance of a healthy start to life. He is passionate about communicating a better understanding of science in schools and the wider community.

In 2009 Peter was appointed as the inaugural Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, and is responsible for providing independent advice to the Prime Minister on scientific matters. Prior to taking on this role, he was founding Director of the National Research Centre for Growth and Development and founding Director of the Liggins Institute.


Dr Alan Beedle BSc, PhD, is a biochemist who became a professional science editor and writer. He has held senior positions in scientific and medical publishing in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, and has been editor of several high-impact journals in the biomedical sciences. Alan has research interests in the application of evolutionary and developmental biology to human health and disease.


Dr Tatjana Buklijas MD, MPhil, PhD, was trained as a physician in her hometown of Zagreb, Croatia, but then changed career to first study and then work, as a Wellcome Research Fellow, in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Her research focused on various topics in the history of anatomy, comparative anatomy and embryology. She moved to New Zealand in 2008, after eight years in the UK. At the Liggins Institute, Tatjana works as a research fellow in Centre for Human Evolution, Adaptation and Disease on projects related to evolutionary medicine and developmental origins of health and disease, especially from the perspective of the history and philosophy of evolution and development.


Dr Felicia Low BSc, MSc(Hons), PhD, is a biochemist who obtained her PhD from the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is currently a Research Fellow with Prof Sir Peter Gluckman in the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee, based at the Liggins Institute. Her research interests include the effects of early-life factors on later-life risk of noncommunicable disease; the utility of developmental epigenetics as a prognostic marker of disease risk and in informing maternal/early postnatal nutritional advice; the application of evolutionary principles to medicine; and the dissemination and translation of scientific research.